When people set out to write a novel, based on my limited experience, marketing and branding is not the first thing that crosses their mind. A lot of times, when critiquing in writing forums, I’ve found people who have a story without a premise.
It’s there, in their mind, but they’re not selling it. Ha ha–couldn’t resist a little grammatical slide in 😉
I was that writer, too. My WIP, Cavernous, started as a loose idea on Christmas eve that I planned to explore this summer. Then, we had 30+ snow days,and since I’m a teacher, I had 30+ days to sit at home and do nothing but write. Armed with my newly-learned skills, I poured words onto the page. I found an editor who helped me shape the story, and developed the first product that I think has a chance of selling.
However, it wasn’t until late March that I really thought about branding.
Some questions posed to me by friends:
1. Who are you as a writer? That one’s easy. I’m a Christian. First and foremost.
2. Who is your audience? This one is a little tougher. So far, I’ve written the first part of a YA dystopian, a contemporary romance, a modern-day fairy tale, a new adult coming-of-age story, and the first in a Christian teen detective series. Almost all of them need desperate rewrites now that I actually know a little about editing, but they were all stories weighing on my heart.
3. What is your message? Write on your heart every word–read and study the Bible.
I’d considered branding to teenage girls, but I know boys read YA dystopian, too. I’m not sure I want to be niched as a teen writer, but then again, I work with teens and the material is ever-present.
More than anything, I want to write about “lost” people. Not so much lost as in Biblical terms, but rather people who’ve lost themselves to the desperation in their lives, sought answers, and found them through Christ. This led to the idea of a brand somewhat related to Lost ____________, seeking ____________, finding His truth.
But lost what? Girls? Souls? Spirits?
Seeking what? Faith? Love? Hope? Inspiration?
I did find this lovely verse that sums up the theme I want to write about (the first part of it):
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge
Stay tuned… Hopefully I’ll be nice and branded soon.